United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BRYAN M. TAYLOR Petitioner,
KIMBERLY BUTLER Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
M. Taylor (Petitioner), proceeding pro se, filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 (hereinafter § 2254). He challenges his 1999
conviction in Saline County, Illinois for fifteen various
felony counts related to the sexual assault of two female
college students. (Doc. 15, Ex. 21, p. 13). He contends his
appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise an
argument for ineffective assistance of trial counsel on
direct appeal. (Doc. 1). Based on the following,
Petitioner's writ of habeas corpus pursuant to §
2254 is DENIED.
March 1999 at approximately 12:15 p.m., two female college
students were walking on a hiking trail in Illinois when an
armed man in a ski mask began running towards them. The man
ordered the women to lie on their stomachs in a clearing,
tied their hands above their heads with plastic ties, and
forced each of them to perform oral sex on him. One of the
plastic ties had the word “vision” printed on it.
The assailant fondled the victims' breasts, sucked their
toes and breasts, licked their anuses, kissed them, forced
them to kiss each other, and then ejaculated on the back of
one of the victims. (Doc. 15, Ex. 2, p. 2).
State of Illinois (the State), charged Petitioner with
five-counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault,
three-counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two-counts
of aggravated unlawful restraint, and five-counts of
aggravated battery for the attack. (Doc. 15, Ex. 21, p. 13).
Petitioner's trial, the State presented evidence
Petitioner's car was parked in the hiking trail's
parking lot at the time of the attack; plastic ties with the
word “vision” on them were found at
Petitioner's home 3.8 miles away from the hiking trail;
time records indicated Petitioner took a lunch break from
11:09 a.m. to 2:34 p.m. the day of the attack; and DNA
extracted from the victims matched Petitioner's DNA
profile. (Doc. 15, Ex. 2, pp. 2-3).
jury convicted Petitioner of all counts and he received an
aggregate sentence of fifty-one years imprisonment:
nine years' imprisonment for each of the aggravated
criminal sexual assaults, to be served consecutively, six
years on each aggravated criminal sexual abuse, to be served
consecutively to each other and concurrently with all other
sentences, and four years on each remaining count, again to
be served consecutively to each other but concurrently with
all other sentences.
Id. at p. 1.
filed a direct appeal, contending (1) he was denied a fair
trial because the trial judge was biased; (2) the DNA testing
was so unreliable that it could not support a guilty verdict;
and (3) consecutive sentences are unconstitutional.
Id. at p. 4. The Appellate Court of Illinois for the
Fifth District denied Petitioner's appeal. Id.
at pp. 1-9. Petitioner filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal
(PLA) to the Illinois Supreme Court. (Doc. 15, Ex. 19, pp.
91-110). He asserted the same arguments presented on direct
appeal and, in addition, contended his appellate counsel was
ineffective. Id. at p. 93. The Illinois Supreme
Court denied the PLA. (Doc. 15, Ex. 20, p. 1).
then filed a post-conviction petition under Illinois'
Post-Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1. He argued, in
part, that his direct appeal counsel was ineffective for
failing to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial
counsel. (Doc. 15, Ex. 20, pp. 2-27). The circuit
court denied the petition and Petitioner appealed.
Petitioner's appointed post-conviction appellate counsel
filed a motion to withdraw as counsel on the ground the
appeal lacked merit. The appellate court granted the
counsel's motion and affirmed the circuit court's
judgment. (Doc. 15, Ex. 21, p. 1). Petitioner then filed a
PLA to the Illinois Supreme Court, which the court denied.
(Doc. 15, Ex. 21, pp. 24-34).
filed the instant § 2254 petition, arguing his direct
appeal counsel was ineffective. (Doc. 1).
U.S.C. § 2254 permits persons in custody pursuant to a
state court judgment to bring a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus “on the ground that he is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Before a
federal court can entertain a petition brought under §
2254, principles of comity mandate a petitioner first give
the state an opportunity to address his constitutional claims
by “invoking one complete round of the State's
established appellate review process.”
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845
(1999). Otherwise, the claims are procedurally defaulted and
he cannot later raise them in a § 2254 petition.
Weddington v. Zatecky, 721 F.3d 456, 465 (7th Cir.
addition, federal courts generally cannot grant habeas relief
with respect to any claim already adjudicated on the merits
in state proceedings. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Two
exceptions arise where the state's adjudication:
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented in the State court proceeding.